Misusu Patterns’ FREEkin’ Sewing Challenge!
Head down to the end of the post to see details of the TWO special giveaways I’ll be hosting today on Instagram with thanks to Misusu Patterns and Madeline de Stoffenmadam as part of the FREEkin’ Sewing Challenge socialmedia tour!!
It has always been a pleasure to engage with Misusu Patterns. I’ve done a couple of rounds of pattern testing with them and I love the warm, generous attitude that Elles Lanfer promotes within the testing groups. Within the testing group there is a shared goal; to help perfect a great pattern and there is always an atmosphere of collaboration and enthusiasm. So, when Elles put out a call for bloggers/”inspirators” to help inspire others to take part in the “Misusu FREEkin’ Sewing Challenge” I applied immediately.
Please check out Misusu Patterns’ blog with details of the challenge and – links to the blogs/Facebook/Instagram posts of all my fellow Inspirators.
Around the same time as this got going See You At Six released their latest fabric collection and I got well and truly sucked in by the gorgeous patterns and colours. I hopped online to Madeline de Stoffenmadam, who stock See You At Six along with an amazing selection of tempting fabrics, and ordered gorgeous rusty brown giraffes, bright yellow painters, some dusty blue cotton lawn and some plain solids/ribbing to match the others. You see them in featured in pretty much all of the outfits I made for this project. Think I got a little obsessed…
The challenge involved is to make an outfit using Misusu patterns, at least one being one of Misusu’s free patterns and, before getting stuck into some hopefully inspiring sews, I had a pair of birthday pressies to make for two boys. They’re the same ages as my No.1 and No. 2 so did a bit of practice with some easily bribed models on hand to test on. And as seems to happen often these days I didn’t want to give them away…
I used the Rowan Tee pattern and a simple hack introducing a seam along the back giving a few more options for playing with colour/pattern/texture. My two lads enjoyed modelling them!
And did you notice the placement of that giraffe on No.2’s top? Entirely luck that the giraffe ended up where the pocket could sit with perfection!
I love the relaxed fit of the Rowan Tee – it looks just right even when there is plenty of growing room. Growing room; always a must when you spend time and love making something for your children. Just before the beginning of the challenge Misusu Patterns released an updated version of the Rowan Tee with adjustments to the fit and a long sleeved version! She also expanded the size range – it now goes all the way to size 13-14/164!. I’ll get years of fun out of this pattern!
On Your Marks! Get Set! Go!
First up for inspiration time was a long sleeved Rowan Tee for No.1, in French terry, so more of a sweatshirt version than a t-shirt, paired with a pair of Misusu Alex Pants. The great little pockets on the front make these a really lovely pair of tracksuit bottoms. It was my first time sewing the Alex pattern and really enjoyed it. No. 1 was delighted with them! He’s really starting to care about what he wears and loves a bit of coordination, so the matching ribbing was appreciated!
I didn’t want to try and wrestle with pocket/pattern placement on the front of the sweater so used solid yellow for the arms and back and relocated the breast pocket to his right arm (he’s a lefty). You can’t really tell in the pics, but I used ribbing for the back yoke that I introduced and solid yellow to the rest of the back.
He’ll soon outgrow the pattern size range for the Alex Pants (expand it Elles!!) as this is the biggest size (5-6/116). It’s a little big on the waist, and I added a couple of inches to the length. That all important growing room box ticked!
While I have greatly enjoyed the pattern testing I’ve done it’s rare that I would aim to make anything to fit my children perfectly. When testing a pattern you have to try for a perfect fit in order to fulfil the brief but, as I’ve said, I usually aim for a little big so that they get more than a couple of months out of something I’ve spent care in making. Most everything I’ve made for this inspirator project has a bit of growing room included.
Giraffes for the animal lover…
Next up was back to a giraffe Rowan Tee for No.2, this time paired with Misusu’s new Summer Olli Shorts. Both are free patterns!! The Olli shorts (or pants) pattern available through the Misusu Patterns Sew and Tell Facebook group. So join up to get it!
After the luck of the pocket placement in the first round of birthday Rowan Tees I deliberately made sure the giraffe would be well placed in this version. I went with the same fit and simple hack of adding a yoke to the back.
The Olli shorts is a great little pattern (you’ll see it appear throughout the outfits made for No.3) with an elasticated waist and deep side pockets. I knew immediately that I’d need to make No.2 a pair in the lovely yellow linen I got a while back from The Fabric Counter. He loves yellow! I used the same fabric for the Rowan Tee pocket to bring the outfit together.
If there’s one thing that No.2 loves more than animals it’s his little sister…
… and she loves him too, though gets a little fed up with his overwhelming “affection”.
Row, Row, Rowan your Boat
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream… cliche I know but No.3 got the Rowan Tee treatment too so seems appropriate. This time with added gathering to a curved seam at the back. I also lengthened the back hemline for a high-low look. I love how the gathering gives extra width and air to the fit. The gathering and high-low hem also make it a little dressier.
I made a draft of this top that wasn’t quite right but with some great feedback from my fellow inspirators in our Facebook group I think I nailed it. I dropped the mid-back seam position, curved it and also kept the gathers more in the central part of the back. Love the collaboration you get in these lovely Facebook groups that Elles facilitates!
I think the French terry fabric works so well with this Rowan Tee. It is so soft and cosy while the gathers add airy lightness that we have really needed with the hot weather of late. I paired it with those super Olli Shorts again, this time using a lovely zebra printed cotton fabric I’ve had for a while. A bit of a safari theme running through…
I’ve been only dying for an excuse to make another Louise Sweater for No.3. It’s up there with my favourite patterns. Some of the first sewing photos I took using the dSLR were of this lovely Louise Sweater on a very little No.3. It still fits with room to spare about 8 months later! Rumour has it Misusu might be preparing an adult sized Louise… Oh I would love one!
So, back to the challenge. The second outfit I made for No.3 included the Olli shorts again and this time coordinated with the Louise Sweater. I love the diagonal line to the side seam and the ability to use sweater and woven fabric together. See You At Six fabric got some use again in this one! In hindsight I would probably have used the giraffes for the front panel as a bit of added pattern would have been good. You live and learn!!
The Olli shorts are a really lovely pattern. There is an option for a buckled strap at the back and another for a tied bow to the front. Most of the shorts I made for No.3 included the bow option. It really dresses the shorts up. For this version however I thought I’d try adding a ribbed waistband.
I love to see my little girl in shorts. They are so practical for exploring and running around. When graced with such a big round belly skirts often end up under her arms, so shorts are practical and just plain perfect!
All MAXed Out!!
I thought I had finished up all my projects for this Misusu FREEkin’ Sewing Challenge but then decided I’d go for one last outfit and stretch my sewing skills!
I decided to try two techniques I’d never attempted before and one that is a little tricky. This time round I went with a Max Tee paired with, yes, you guessed in, some Olli shorts! I had made one Max Tee before – this lovely green and blue striped one for No. 1. Those front corners are that tricky technique mentioned above – but they are sure worth the risk/effort!
Misusu patterns come with really excellent, clear tutorials. They have always given me the confidence to give the trickier parts of any of their patterns a go. And, touch wood, I’ve always managed to pull it off! Long may that last!
So, first new technique I decided to try – embroidery! I’d never done any embroidery but had seen some amazing examples on Instagram – in particular the work of @defnegunturkun and I thought I ‘d give it a go. Nothing as fancy as the examples I’d seen; I started with the basics.
The Max Tee is designed to be used with woven and jersey fabrics together. So the woven bib was a perfect spot to try some simple embroidery stitches. The corner angles on that bib are a little daunting but having made a few other outfits I was happy to take some risks this time round.
I googled “embroidery stitches”, got myself an embroidery hoop and also some embroidery thread and was all set. I decided to keep it simple and at first embroidered little flowers and petals using a “Detached Chain Stitch”. I then got some confidence and decided to infill with some “French Knots”, a little more tricky.
The second technique I had never tried before was sewing a button hole! I’ve always avoided it. When I realised I had only one snap fitting left in my sewing box I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet – and so glad I did!
Not perfect, but so very close! And along with those two very neat corner junctions I was delighted with the result!
The other adjustments I made to the original pattern were to 1) shorten the sleeves and add a ruffle to the top the shoulder, 2) a gathering to the back yoke seam (I’m in a bit of a gathering mood it seems) and 3) a slightly longer hem to the back to give another high-low look.
I was going to make a pair of white linen Ollis to go with this and then thought “Are you crazy? White linen shorts for a 19 month old?” Thankfully I regained my sanity and made a grey chambray pair. It’s a lovely soft lightweight chambray from Quilt Yarn Stitch and far more practical that white linen! There’s actually a little pink and green fleck in the fabric, but it doesn’t really show in the photos. Love that little front bow!
Thank you! That’s it for now!
There was a super gang of inspirators tasked with coming up with some inspiring outfits for the Misusu FREEkin’ Sewing Challenge – and there are some amazing and inventive hacks to be discovered! Check out Misusu’s blog with links to all their Instagram accounts! I’ve loved seeing all the work as it’s be created and hope you have enjoyed seeing my projects!
I should let you know that Misusu Patterns are offering 15% off all their paid patterns during the course of this challenge and have all their free patterns available to enjoy too! You’ll find the discount code on Misusu’s blog post.
Don’t forget the Misusu Pattern Giveaway!!
Over on my Instagram profile on 5th August 2018, I will be giving away the chance to pick one paid pattern of choice from Misusu Patterns. You’ll see all the details of the giveaway at my Instagram account, @incompletestitches. All the other “Inspirators” will be hosting similar giveaways on their day of the social media tour so there are lots of opportunities to win!
When I realised I had used so much fabric sourced from Madeline de Stoffenmadam I got in touch with them to sheepishly ask if they’d be interested in sponsoring some fabric for my giveaway. I was thrilled when they said they’d love to! So for all you sewing enthusiasts based in Belgium and The Netherlands they have kindly offered the chance to win 1 metre of the See You At Six “Painted” French terry fabric in Sulphur Yellow – as used in this Rowan Tee:
You’ll see all the details of this bonus giveaway on the 5th August 2018 over at my Instagram account @incompletestitches – just remember you’ll need a postal address in The Netherlands or Belgium to be eligible for this one!
(All the links are included entirely due to my love of the fabric/shop/pattern. I think it is great to be able to give a shout out for all those talented, committed people who help me enjoy this sewing lark as much as I do!)